Questions About Change: The Civil Rights Movement

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10129

How would you feel if you couldn't use the same bathroom, eat in the same restaurant or sit in the same seat as a person of another color? Many people took dangerous stands for your rights. Learn how.


United States

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee explain what it means to be a warrior for peace.

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The saying that well-behaved individuals seldom make history has been around for years.

  • What does that mean?
  • Do you agree?

People who have broken the mold to implement social change have made history.

Many examples of progressive change occurred during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Do you know of any important figures from this period?
  • Have you heard of Martin Luther King, Jr., or Rosa Parks?

Though peaceful, they did not let people mistreat them because they were Black.

Early in U.S. history, White landowners enslaved Black people to work the large farms called plantations. All enslaved people were freed through the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, signed in 1863.

Even though they were now free, they were still not treated the same as White men and women. Black people were not allowed to go to the same schools and theaters and even had different public restrooms from White people.

Almost 100 years later, a few brave men and women, both White and Black, started the civil rights movement to ensure all men are treated as equals, meaning they receive all the same rights.

Those brave men and women are called activists.

Learn more about the civil rights movement with the following video.

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While the official end of segregation created a society where everyone is meant to have the same rights, you can still see inequality today. Some people still discriminate based on race, gender, religion, and many other qualities.

To discriminate means to judge people by what group they are in rather than their worth.

  • For example, what do you think about a man working in a daycare or a woman being a truck driver?

We have ideas about what jobs men and women should have, and when they don't fit the ideas we have, we make a judgment.

Continue to the Got It? section to research important American civil rights leaders.

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